Saturday, 15 April 2017

Crossing over

Yesterday's run from Barkly Roadhouse to the Queensland border was the first time that I have used the term 'boring'.

The lush, high grass and trees of the Barkly Tableland abruptly stopped at the Soudan Well, giving way to kilometres of open, brown grasslands. A road sign proclaimed that this was the beginning of the catchment for Lake Eyre in SA, and it was hard to tell whether the country changed or whether this was as a result of the bush being cleared for cattle grazing.

It was hot - 34 to 35C most of the day - and we met a cyclist riding from Townsville to Perth at one of the roadside rest stops. He was looking for shelter for the night, and we gave him the bad news that there was not a tree in sight for next 100km. We were drenching down our tees and jeans wherever we could find a water tank, the evaporative cooling at 120km/h nice for about the 40 or so minutes it took to be completely dry again.

We crossed into Queenland just before 15:00 and took the obligatory border photo. Passing through Camooweal, the country got hilly and the roads got windy just out of Mt Isa, and we rolled into the mining town just before 17:00. Good Friday, and everywhere was shut. Took our first (unplanned) 'alchohol free' day and had to make do with two chicken curry and rice ration packs in the caravan park.

The weather is changing, with the cold, dry desert mornings giving way to milder and slightly more humid dawns. Today heading to Cloncurry and then north to Normanton and Karumba, a port town on the Gulf of Carpentaria. The burramundi are running, and the fishermen are flocking there to get up in to the mangrove tributaries.

We have been on the road for two weeks now - chronologically half way. Yesterday's run 450km, 4,936km behind us as we ride out for Cloncurry.

The Antipodean Mariners

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